SEO Tips for Flash Websites


1. If you do not wish to spend a lot of time in making your site more accessible to search engines you can go around a lot of the more smart stuff by writing the Flash component into the page using JavaScript and then providing a HTML version of the page using a <noscript> tag.

2. Create descriptive useful page titles and Meta descriptions.

3. Embed the flash into HTML pages and use regular text links on the page if possible.

4. If it does not screw up the design too bad add HTML text to the page.

5. Create textual representations of what is in the flash using noembed tags.

6. Instead of including the whole thing in one flash file it may make sense to break the content into different flash files so you can create different HTML pages around the different ideas contained in it.

7. Macromedia has a search engine SDK, although I think most sites are still best off using textual representations of the flash files on the HTML content of pages. For reference – http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/swf_searchability.html

8. There is a JavaScript plugin for flash detection. It is XHTML compliant, and, so long as you use it properly, it is better than the Noembed tag. For reference – http://code.google.com/p/swfobject/

9.  SWF Object is a search engine-friendly way to embed Flash content. Alternative non-Flash content is produced first, and then snippets of JavaScript are used to swap out the alternative content with the Flash movies. This ensures that the content is indexed by search engines. Users without Flash will still see a working HTML page.

10. An important way to guarantee that a SWF’s content is picked up and ranked by search engines is to extract the content and place it into the page’s HTML source. Tools such as Dreamweaver use SWF Object to embed Flash. The code view in Dreamweaver displays comments where you should add your alternative HTML content.

11. If your site is just one big lump of Flash in an HTML template, your page is never going to refresh. Consider having a different URL for each page of your site’s Flash content. Each page would have its own HTML source title, “H1″ and body copy containing the keyword you want to rank.

12. A one-page HTML rich internet application (RIA) will not be SEO enhanced simply by adding the content for each section of the Flash application into the HTML source for this page. Doing this doesn’t establish any prominence of content, as there are too many competing terms. Keep extracted Flash content relevant to the page it’s on.

13. We’ve all visited sites that urge us to click to launch Flash content into a new window. This removes any chance of the site’s content being picked up and indexed by search engines. In addition to search spiders not being able to see them, pop-ups suffer from being blocked by many browsers.

14. A simple Flash SEO enhancement is to use Flash-generated text in your creative when displaying or animating type. You can do this instead of using text that’s a flattened bitmap. Flash text can contain keyword-based messages, which help increase traffic. Include this text in the HTML source of the page as well.

15. Robots.txt is a plain text file found at the root of a server. This tells search bots which content needs to be allowed or disallowed when it visits their website. If your Flash text content is the same as your HTML version, you could set the Robots.txt file to ignore the SWF content and push only the HTML content to the search bots.

    For more information – http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/06/improved-flash-indexing.html

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    4 responses

    1. Brilliant post about SEO. I’m honestly quite dumfounded that this has not been enunciated before to such a great length.

    2. I have checked in the flash indexing of Google. Its working cool for some websites. But its not the same in all cases. However Google indexing of Flash websites is good in comparison with Yahoo! or Bing.

    3. The only place you’ll find success before work is in the dictionary

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